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Online Therapy Analysis

Search the Web and locate at least three online therapy sites. Discuss the content in each site, the professionals involved, and how the actual online interaction occurs. Address how professional associations and state regulatory boards view online therapy. Discuss related ethical (informed consent, confidentiality, etc.) and security issues. Include your own opinion of the advantages and disadvantages of online therapy services

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I will begin with addressing how the APA (American Psychology Association) deals with online therapy.

The APA understands that online therapy is becoming a popular trend, and it must be further investigated and addressed in their "Code of Ethics". In the meantime, they stipulate that online therapists need to still follow "Standard 1.04c, Boundaries of Competence" which states that they must "ensure the competence of their work and to protect patients, clients, students, research participants, and others from harm".

However, the virtual world is different from the real world. Thus, some states are looking into regulating online therapy websites in each state. But as of 2005, "fundamentally new ethical territory has been created by the advance of technology which enables online counselling to take place" Mulhauser, Gregory R. (2005) 9 Observations about the Practice and Process of Online Therapy.

Ethical issues:

- How does the client know that their online transaction will remain safe? They are posting their feelings, emotions and life problems online. If you think of a typical therapist, their discussions are verbal and are not recorded. Therefore, things are more confidential. How do we know that the conversations will not be hacked and published online? People's life problems could then be published online. People could lose their jobs, marriages could end. If this info could potentially be hacked.

- Usually, informed consent is specifically explained, and patients who need help are clearly explained the rules and what will happen during the session. Now, the informed consent is virtual - people just have to ...

Solution Summary

This solution discusses online therapy services.